Why Shifting to a Smart Bidding Strategy is the Right Choice - Adpearance

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Why Shifting to a Smart Bidding Strategy is the Right Choice

Avoid Overspending on Users Who Aren’t Ready to Buy

Have you struggled with advertising on high-funnel keywords that your dealership’s in-market shoppers are searching for without being able to successfully target users who aren’t ready to buy? A Google Smart Bidding strategy allows you to advertise on the high-funnel keyword effectively by prioritizing in-market shoppers over true high-funnel users.

What Happened to the Micro-Moments Strategy?

Before Smart Bidding, bidding on keywords was the only way to reach users, and starting in 2016, Micro-Moments was the leading bid strategy. It took manufacturers a few years to fully adopt the bidding strategy but, eventually, they divided keywords by tier to prevent overlap with dealers in who they targeted. The brand would bid on broad terms like “Honda” while recommending regions to bid on terms like “Honda incentives” and dealers to bid on “Honda dealers” or “Honda cars for sale.”

Adpearance executed the Micro-Moments strategy very well, using the majority of ad spend to target the lowest funnel leads. And by limiting the amount spent on branded campaigns to 20% of ad spend, Adpearance generated high-quality net-new leads for our clients. While the competition may have spent more on branded campaigns, the leads were from users who already knew about the dealer.

Shifting from a Micro-Moments to a Smart Bidding Strategy

As manufacturers finally adopted a Micro-Moments strategy, Google started quietly shifting away from it and stopped directing advertisers to not bid on broader terms. 

In theory, a Micro-Moments strategy and a full-fledged Smart Bidding strategy are nearly complete opposites of one another. A Micro-Moments strategy focuses on keywords and not users. First, bidding on long tail keywords, and then the remaining budget is used on higher funnel keywords.

Smart Bidding can use all of the same bidding signals we had access to before, as well as net-new signals, to target in-market users with the intent to buy, regardless of how broad the keyword you bid on might be. A full-fledged Smart Bidding strategy would only theoretically bid on one keyword like “honda” because all the keywords we would bid on would include the root brand OEM term. From there, Smart Bidding would identify the right users to reach. However, because we have a desire to prioritize certain types of keywords and spend, we still utilize a granular campaign structure with thousands of keyword iterations.

Over a year-long period of research and testing, Adpearance developed a Micro-Moments influence style of campaign structure for our Smart Bidding campaigns to maximize the high-quality leads we can generate for our clients. Adpearance bids on all iterations of keywords with a specific shared budget strategy to distribute funds where they are most likely to generate conversions. So if a broad term like “Honda” is not performing well, the ad spend can be reprioritized to terms that historically perform well for our clients.

How Smart Bidding Generates Leads Across Tiers

Smart Bidding prioritizes users with the intent to purchase over users searching for a brand for the first time. As a result, all tiers can now bid on broad terms like “Honda.” Smart Bidding prioritizes first-time browsers looking for basic information to Tier 1. Returning users doing further research, needing an incentive to take the next step will, in theory, be prioritized by regional, Tier 2 ads. And in-market shoppers who have been browsing for months will be prioritized to dealerships.

Do you have questions about how Smart Bidding enables your dealership to bid on broader keywords without competing against other tiers? Get in touch.

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About the Author

Calvin Mesman

With a data-driven mind and passion for doing things the right way, Calvin is the architect of the Adpearance service offering. He oversees both the technical and client-facing teams responsible for delivering seamless digital advertising, SEO, and social media efforts.

Adpearance is the digital marketing company obsessed with generating quality leads. Our solutions combine cutting-edge technology, premium tracking, and an expert team to transform business results.

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